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Paper: Stellar Populations and Mass-to-Light Ratios Throughout the Fundamental Plane
Volume: 419, Galaxy Evolution: Emerging Insights and Future Challenges
Page: 96
Authors: Graves, G. J.
Abstract: We demonstrate that the stellar populations of early type galaxies span a 2-D space, which means that their star formation histories form a two-parameter family. This two-parameter family maps onto a cross section through the Fundamental Plane (FP), suggesting a strong correlation between the present day structure of a galaxy and its past star formation history. The observed stellar population differences translate into M*/L variations that are too small to explain either the tilt of the FP or its thickness. This implies that the tilt and thickness of the FP are driven by systematic variations in either the central dark matter fraction in galaxies or in the IMF with which they form stars. Furthermore, because star formation histories can be mapped onto locations in FP-space, the variations in central dark matter fraction or IMF differences must be correlated with differences in the galaxies’ star formation histories.
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